Zite knows what people are reading

Did you ever wonder what people like to read? Then you might want to check out the new series of posts that the iPad app developers at Zite have started on their blog.

The Zite personalized magazine app has been up and running for a little over 5 months now, and in that time it’s gathered a fair amount of information on what Zite users are reading. On Friday the Zite developers released the first data that they extracted from their database.

They focused on the US this  time, and they created lists of what each state was reading. Not that these aren’t the most popular topics in each state; the lists are based on the topics that each state read more than the other states.

For example, Hawaiians were more likely to read about medical marijuana, Illinois readers were more likely to read about graveyard voter registration, and Virginians are more likely to read about – well, I can’t tell you because it’s classified.

You can find the map here.

Speaking of tracking what’s being read, there ‘s something that publishers might be interested in.

Zite are currently working to add publisher tools to their platform. I asked and I’ve been told that they probably have info on  which articles from my blog are read, shared, and so on. Unfortunately, what they don’t have yet are the tools needed to pull each blog’s reading stats.  The data is still in one giant clump.

I’m eagerly awaiting the new tools, because I’m now seeing a zite link to this blog on Twitter at least twice  a day (nd that’s just among the people I know). I can’t wait to see what my readership is inside the app.

Unlike some publishers, I have no problem with losing the direct page views. (TBH, I don’t see how I would have a reason to complain; my RSS feed already has full content of the posts.) The reason I don’t mind Zite is that I know that readers have been doing something similar for years now.

Calibre, the ebook library app, can scrape web content and pull in RSS feeds and then spin this content into an ebook. I know hundreds if not thousands of people who are already using calibre to download the content they want while avoding the adverts. The Zite app does the same thing on a much larger scale.

All Zite did was to make it easier for people to read how they want. And that is why I don’t mind it.

Fighting with readers who want the app experience of Zite is about as self-defeating as a lot of efforts to block piracy. The goal is to give people what they want, not keep trying to take it away.

via Zite blog

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